Our Little Spider Monkey

Everything that I have read and been told about getting healthy (losing weight) always involves adequate rest.  By nature, I am a night owl.   I actually function best between sunset and sun up.  Before any of my kids started to school, I always managed to manipulate their schedules around mine.

Not to the extreme of my kids never seeing the light of day or anything, but it wasn’t unusual for us to stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning and then sleep until noon.  This may seem bizarre to you, but it worked for us.  We actually had a very normal scheduled life, just pushed back about 6 hours from the way the majority of people live their lives.

But, times change.  3 out of 4 of my kids go to school now.  With this, I am now required to actually function from about 6:30 a.m. on.  In fact, I work very hard to be in bed no later than 11 p.m. and up by 6:30 a.m every morning except for Saturdays.  Like most people, Saturday is our sleep late day, which usually means we are all up by 8 a.m.

Like I said, I have to work very hard to keep this schedule.

Without an adequate amount of sleep I simply do not function.  Some people can push through and still function at a relatively normal cognitive level.  I, however, can not.  I no longer make rational decisions.  I become irritable and combative.  Little alone having enough energy for any sort of physical activity.

Recently my 4 and 5 year olds have decided to take up residence in my bed.  You would think a king sized water-bed would be more than adequate for all of us.  Trust me when I assure you it is not.

Chris, my husband, is pushing 33 years old pretty hard.  sometime over the past year, Chris has not been able to sleep on our water-bed without it causing him tremendous back pain.  When he tries to sleep on the water-bed (alone or with me) his back will spasm and will often incapacitate  him for 2-3 days at a time.  Once we realized that decrepitcy had set in, Chris moved to sleeping on the couch.  With Chris on the couch, that has left me with an entire king sized bed that I can sleep right in the middle of, spread eagle.

That is until Catherynn and Christyan decided to move in with me. 

Christyan, my 4-year-old, likes to sleep on our sides with our backs pressed against each other.  I do pretty good with this.  After all I still have over half of the bed to turn and move in.  Catherynn, the 5-year-old, on the other hand is a bed hog. 

I should start by telling you that Catherynn is considerably smaller than my 4-year-old.  They are about the same hight, but Catherynn is about 12 pounds lighter than Christyan.

Maybe I should back up a little further in order to explain how this tiny, petite, little thing became so impossible to sleep with.

By the time Catherynn was a month old, I had her to were she would sleep all night in her own bed.  One weekend when Catherynn was 4 months old we were at Chris’s dad’s for a visit.  While we were visiting,  my father-in-law went and had himself a massive myocardial infarction. 

Did I mention that we were all at Hurricane Harbor (a water park), when he decided to try to check out?

Luckily for us though, Hurricane Harbor did have paramedics on site with ECG capabilities.  They even managed to have an accurate diagnosis and have him packaged for transport by the time the city EMS showed up to take him to a Cath-Lab equipped hospital.  In fact, I have to saw how impressed I am that from the time of symptom onset to having Chris’s dad in the Cath-lab for stint placement was about 30 minutes.  Had he been anywhere else, I seriously doubt he would have gotten such a rapid response and in all likelihood would not have survived.

Anyways, once my father-in-law was out of surgery and in the ICU resting, the doctor told us that more than likely he would remain in the hospital for a week.  Naturally, Chris wasn’t going to leave his dad.

We headed back to Chris’s dad’s house for the night.  Once we got back there, we realized very quickly that we had no place for Catherynn to sleep.  We hadn’t actually planned on spending the night.  Chris decided that Catherynn would just have to sleep with him.  So, for the next week, Catherynn slept in her Daddy’s arms, either on the couch or in the bed.

That’s all it took.  By the time we finally returned home, Catherynn refused to sleep anywhere besides with Chris.  During the day, while he was working, she would nap in her bed with no problems.  However, even at 4 months old, she knew the difference between naps and bed times.  We would put her in her bed and try to let her cry herself to sleep.  Often, we, mostly Chris, would cave in about the time she would start making gagging noises from crying so much.

Catherynn continued sleeping with Chris and I until a couple of years ago.  When she got ready to start to school, we convinced her to start sleeping in her own bed as part of showing us she was ready for school.  Since then, she has worked very hard to sleep in her own bed or with her sister’s.  But, her sisters don’t like her to sleep with them either, because she is such a bed hog.

Catherynn will either lay across your feet or head or she will wrap herself around you to the point that you can’t move.  We affectionately call her “our little spider monkey” because of it.

Needless to say, I have not rested very well for the past week.  This morning it all caught up with me.  I got up pissed off and irritated at the world.

After I dropped the wrecking crew off at school, I headed straight for the store.  Without so much as a second thought, I had a pack of cigarettes and a diet coke in my hands.

I had 2 cigarettes smoked and half of my diet coke chugged before making it back home.  Until I was able to lay down and take a nap, I smoked one cigarette after the other and continues drinking my diet coke.

What have I learned?  Even with the best of intentions, slip ups happen.  You will fall off the waggon, hell you may even jump.  This does not mean that tomorrow, or the rest of today for that matter,  I won’t jump back on that waggon and continue moving forward towards my goals.

Oh, and adequate nocturnal rest is a must.  Tonight, if it happens, Catherynn will be escorted back to her own bed.

Have duct tape, will travel!  Just kidding, kinda…

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